Friday, 26 August 2016

Press Release : ALMOST RM70,000 RAISED IN JOG FOR HOPE 2016

Taylor’s College Sri Hartamas students raise funds for three children’s homes in 8th edition of annual charity run
>SUBANG JAYA, 25 August 2016 – There is no better way to encourage members of the public to give back to society than to get everyone to contribute in a fun way.

Jog For Hope 2016 was testament to that. The annual run organised by Taylor’s College Sri Hartamas, which took place on 14 August 2016, saw 1,786 participants - from fun-loving strollers to elite runners, engaging in a morning of fitness and fun.

Along a route cutting through the hilly roads of Hartamas, runners ran for the right reasons – to contribute towards a charitable cause.

First organised in 2009, Jog For Hope is fully organised by students of Taylor’s College Sri Hartamas. This year, the organising committee comprised 42 students, supported by staff members of the college. Jog For Hope 2016 – the 8 th edition of the event, featured three distances – the 3km Fun Run, 6km Turbo Run and 10km Resilience Run. Participation fees were RM35 for schoolchildren, RM45 for tertiary students, RM55 for all other participants, and RM 450 for a corporate group of 10 participants.
Jog For Hope 2016 successfully raised a total of RM69,000, which was then channelled to benefit three homes for underprivileged children.
The Kirtash Handicapped and Disabled Children’s Home in Rawang, the Sweet Care Home in Selayang and the Special Children Society in Ampang each received a donation of RM23,000.

Project manager Dheevanth Devendran was delighted at the success of the event. “Education is more than just textbooks. Through this event, we were able to grow our leadership and life skills. I am proud of my committee for their hard work and sacrifice since April. We have gained tremendously in experience by organising this event. Thank you to everyone who helped us along the way - at every point of planning and execution. My appreciation also goes out to everyone who participated in the run – I hope you enjoyed yourselves! Each and every one of you is very much appreciated,” Dheevanth said.

Dheevanth shared that the amount raised was well beyond the committee’s expectations. “Overall, there were not as many participants as we had last year, but we managed to raise the funds needed. Thanks to the generosity of the participants, each home received a significant amount. We also had more sponsors this year compared to the previous year. On behalf of the committee, I would like to convey our deepest appreciation to the sponsors for contributing to this event,” he added.

One participant, Tasha Thomas, who is a student at Taylor’s College, said that she thoroughly enjoyed the race. “It’s really nice to see everyone coming together for a good cause. For me, it was like a reunion as I got to meet some of my high school friends. And since this is my first time in a race, it was fun to run together,” she said.

It was indeed an atmosphere of togetherness, as participation saw not only Taylor’s students, but also a mix of parents, children, locals, international visitors and just about everyone who had heard about the run.

Another participant, Ahmad, said he got to know about the race through one of his friends. “I found out today that this run was organised entirely by students! What a great achievement. Looking at the amount raised and the charities that will benefit from the donations, I feel that my morning has been very well spent, helping these students succeed in their noble cause,” he commented.

For further information on Jog For Hope 2016, please visit the website and for further details on Taylor’s College, please log on to http://college.taylors.edu.my 

About Taylor’s College

Founded in 1969, Taylor’s College, a member of the Taylor’s Education Group, is a leading pre-university College in Malaysia providing university preparatory programmes including Cambridge A Levels (CAL), South Australian Matriculation (SAM)/SACE International and Canadian Pre-University (CPU) programmes. In 2009, Taylor’s College also introduced the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP), the only private college in Malaysia that offers the programme in a unique college setting.

Every year, Taylor’s College places over 1,000 students into the top 200 universities in the world. Taylor’s College is the largest and most successful centre in Malaysia for CAL whilst its CPU programme has more than 80% qualified Canadian professionals, certified by the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT).100% of its SAM / SACE International teachers are on the SACE Board of South Australia panel of examiners and trained annually by SACE Board of South Australia. With qualified teachers from an average of 16 years of experience, IBDP programme is conducted in small class sizes and supportive environment to ensure that every student experiences personalised learning.

Taylor’s College is the only Malaysian college to have all campuses rated 6 Stars (outstanding) by the Ministry of Education Malaysia for two consecutive times, in the 2012/2013 and 2014/2015 MyQUEST evaluation for overall quality of learning. 

Taylor’s College also clinched the No.1 ranking in Malaysia for students’ overall learning experience, students’ living experience and students support experience in the 2014 i-graduate survey which surveyed 211 colleges and universities worldwide.

With campuses in Subang Jaya and Sri Hartamas, Taylor’s College aims to produce well-rounded future leaders equipped with critical learning skills, life skills and leadership skills that are essential to academic and career success.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Breezy Process For Passport Renewal In Putrajaya

I've been reading news with much worry about the passport shortage across Malaysia especially in the city areas due to the new biometric chip passport glitch by the company that handled its printing. 

It's also worrying to read about friends who went to renew passports and had to queue a few times as number had ran out for the day because only a very limited numbers were allocated each day due to the shortage. 

Hubby and I needed to renew our passport too but we decided not to join the panicky and long queue in July and we waited and bidded our time. There were news abound that a passport application process might take as long as six months and that probably contributed to the passport renewing and applying frenzy.

A friend went to Kuala Kubu branch a couple of weeks ago and got hers after about a 4-hour wait. She was quite worried about not getting hers done as she needed her passport urgently. Quite OK lah, I suppose and she didn't have to queue at 4am just to get her numbers.

I had an event to go to in Putrajaya, in the afternoon so Hubby and I decided we'd try and renew our passport while waiting for the event to start at 2.30pm. We thought, if there's a long queue, we go renew, pay and later collect the passports after the event. Or later later lah...

After sending Son to school, we head off to Putrajaya and joined the queue at around 7.15am. The Immigration Office opens at 7.30am but we were ushered to the lifts to 3rd Floor where the Immigration Office is located at around 7.40am. Ikut turn tau.
No 28. Not bad.

Our number was called about 25 minutes later and about 10 minutes later, made payment. Payment can be done with cash or cards (debit/credit/charge card). So convenient wei! And so fast also.

It's a one hour wait for passport collection so we decided to go eat breakfast first.

Came back one hour later, and just queued for our passports which were already waiting for us to collect. As a matter of fact, the fella in front of us held number 40. 

Total hours spent : less than 2.5 hours!

When we left, numbers for passport renewal and application were still available and before 10am the officers there had served about 100 applicants. Talk about efficient!

So kudos Putrajaya Immigration Office branch.

Disclaimer:
I am not paid by any government bodies for this positive review.
Bad review you all viral. Good review, must also viral. Baru fair. 

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Ignite The Runner In You PUMA Night Run, Shah Alam

Touted to be the biggest PUMA Night Run event todate, anywhere; ten thousand runners (including me and my family) made our way to Dataran Kemerdekaan Shah Alam on Saturday evening to participate in PUMA Night Run.

It's the first time PUMA Night Run was held at Dataran Kemerdekaan Shah Alam as their first two editions were held at Setia Alam. Unfortunately, my personal opinion is: Shah Alam is not exactly the best route to accommodate 10K runners; especially not during a busy Saturday evening. In a residential area. Full stop.
There were two waves for the 10K category:
  1. 10K Competitive (Men & Women) with A1 & B1 bib numbers
  2. 10K Recreational (Men & Women) with A2 & B2 bib numbers
Despite the many reminders by the emcees that only runners with bibs starting with numbers A1 & B1 to enter the pen for the 8.00pm flag-off, I saw quite a number of runners with A2 & B2 doing so too. There were RELA members (two of them) manning the entrance of the pen area and understandably both of them cannot check all those who were pushing to enter.

Understandably that is, until one of them pulled me back and ask for my bib. The one with bib B1 got pulled back and a throng of A2 and B2 entered without much problem. 
Flag-off was at 8.00pm and it took me about 4minutes to cross the start line. 

Running?

What running? I know that these type of run has many runners who were out just to have fun but when 80% of them were already strolling (walking) from the start line; it makes for a hugely congested running path.
Some thoughts for both organiser & fellow runners:
For the Organiser:
  • They lack the foresight on how 10K crowd would be like, thinking that coning off one lane of the road would be enough. One lane road for runners are not enough for the volume they had!
  • The control of those flagging-off for competitive and leisure run can be improved. Otherwise, what's the point of having the two waves? And no, two RELA volunteers to check on 5 thousand bibs (assuming that's the number of those doing the competitive run) wasn't enough.
  • Lack of safety and traffic marshall all throughout the 10K route. The organiser had effectively closed off most of the entry/exit point of residence in Seksyen 11 and part of Seksyen 6 (other areas were affected too but not as bad as Seksyen 11); yet they didn't place marshall at all the junctions. While some drivers were patient. some were not and I've heard about runners almost being knocked down by cars. 
  • I only managed a 23min for 3K yet for a pace that is slightly below the 8min/km; I never did managed to see the 8min pacer balloons. A friend who wanted to chase the 7min pacers didn't see the ballons even after 4K! And he started way in front of me!
  • Dark road stretch at KM6 and KM7 were not addressed.
  • Weird placing of water stations (first one was at KM4) and water ran out for stragglers. 
  • Shah Alam at 8.00pm is simply not the venue for a big run that PUMA Night Run saw.
  • Some runners didn't step on the timing mat at KM5.5 mark because there wasn't any volunteers reminding and guiding them towards the mat. A number just walked on the pavement completely oblivious about the halfway mark timing mat. 
  • Don't just go for numbers when quality simply wasn't there.
For the runners:
  • Runners used both lanes and some "stupid" runners thought that running and getting a PB is far more important that their own safety that they enroached the road where traffic was not blocked and cars were zooming past them from the opposite side. You call Pokemon-go players stupid and time wasting? These runners are even stupider wei!
  • If you have no intention to run from the start, please refrain in registering for the competitive category next time or if you hold a A2 & B2 bib numbers and also didn't plan to run, refrain from entering the pen before your allocated flag-off time. No, I'm not talking about how fast you can run. You can run a 9min/km pace for all I care, but you can join the competitive category if you want running and improve your timing. You have my admiration and respect. BUT if you are already walking at 100 mtr, hold hands, chat - that's is not competitive. Spare a thought for those who actually want to run. Don't block the road. This is not a Pasar Malam outing.  
  • Don't shout at volunteers and the medic team. They are there to help us. And if you are tired and do not want to walk anymore, the medic has the right the refuse you to board the ambulance. Being tired (but still able to shout at people) is NOT an emergency, dai lo.  Board a bus la. Volunteers already apologised profusely when they ran out of water at one of the WS. 
  • Oh yeah, dude running in the middle of the road at KM2 point - spitting on the road is not cool. Swallow your "kahak". If it's gross for you to swallow it, it is much more gross to have it on my shoes. Bodo.
But as I joined the stragglers (I gave up on making any effort to run after 3K because it seems pointless); I saw that most "runners" were just happy pounding the tarmac -  walking. 

And being behind, I noted that all along the route, I didn't hear any honking from the cars that passed by. A few cars patiently waited for a clear path but as there were no marshals, they were unable to continue their journey. 

A little girl shouted words of encouragement from a car and then we heard more words of encouragement as we passed an apartment complex. 
Anyhoo, it was nice to bump into friends along the route - a few wondered why I was standing by the roadside and not running or taking photos; and later met a few more friends at the finish line.
And Son, after a few month's break from running in races; finished his 10K last night. So proud of him. ^^

Will I do PUMA Night Run again? I don't know.

The technical team has to buck up.
The Shah Alam route is not exactly the best route (to put it mildly) for ten thousand runners. Especially not on a Saturday night. You all don't know ah, we Malaysians like to go out at night? 

Friday, 19 August 2016

The Tale Of Twincity Marathon

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, wrote Charles Dickens in the Tale of Two Cities.

For most runners who did the Cyberjaya Twincity Marathon which was held on January 24th, 2016; that was perhaps exactly how they felt as they completed their respective categories. All the hard work they put in during months of training leading to race day, battling fatigue running in the hot and humid course and finally the elation and a sense of accomplishment as they crossed the finish line and handed their hard earned medals.

Cyberjaya Twincity Marathon offered 4 distance categories:
• Full marathon (42km)
• Half marathon (21km)
• 12K
• and 5K fun run.

The generous 8-hours cut-off time for the full marathon category and 4-hours for the half marathon made this event appealing for runners especially those who wanted to do their first full marathon. The route gave runners a chance to explore Cyberjaya and Putrajaya on foot. It was also great that the organisers provided a number of pacers for both the full marathon and half marathon categories to assist runners to run and meet their target finishing time.
Dato' Faris Yahaya (fifth from left), the managing director of Cyberview Sdn Bhd who ensured Cyberjaya Twincity Marathon a successful event since 2014 is also a runner and had participated in a number of international marathons. Faris started running in full marathon in 2009 and he had not looked back since.

It is his intention to turn Cyberjaya Twincity Marathon into a signature event for the country and be known all over the world. He believes that a marathon can put a city’s name on the world map and he not only wants to elevate Cyberjaya as a global tech hub but also as a city that promotes healthy living practices.

Dato' Faris did the half marathon in Cyberjaya Twincity Marathon this year. Now, how many MD of a company that hold a marathon event who also ran in it?

He is also proud of the fact that from only two runners among his old batchmates at Malay College Kuala Kangsar (including himself), there is now a group of twenty who are running and ten of them did their first half marathon at Cyberjaya Twincity Marathon! Equally inspiring to know, two of his friends; Salimin Saidin and Ismadi Ismail managed to lose 20kg and 10kg respectively through an active lifestyle. A great achievement for a batch of 48 year old, old boys from MCKK!
Another running group which Dato' Faris is a member of; the Gaited Community had more than 15 of their members joining the full marathon, 10 members did the half marathon and a few more did the 12K.
The full marathon category was flagged off at 4.00am, followed by half marathon category at 5.30am, 12K category at 6.30am and finally the 5K fun run category at 7.00am.

The early flag-off time spared most runners from running too long under the hot sun. The organiser, mindful of the need for Muslim runners to perform their Subuh prayers in view of the early start, had provided suraus located at water stations (WS) from KM9 onwards. The WS at this marathon event provided something “extra” for full marathon runners, apart from the standard water, isotonic and fruits. There was a WS that provided freshly made roti canai and teh tarik for full marathon runners at KM33.5! Furthermore, we were not only served with water and isotonic, we also enjoyed “air jagung” and “sirap bandung” at the WS. We were also treated with ice cream Malaysia at the last WS, located just 2K away from the finish line and it was heavenly.

A few notable runners during the Cyberjaya Twincity Marathon whom I managed to contact:

Dr Liau Kok Keon, a paediatrician and of the Skyhawk Marathon Club Melaka which had successfully organised the Skyhawk Nature Run in Melaka a week before Cyberjaya Twincity Marathon ran in the full marathon category together with his wife. Both are avid runners and it was Mrs Liau’s (Dr Jess) first full marathon and paced by her husband, she managed to complete her run in 5 hours and 37 minutes!
For G. Suresh Kumar who had competed in several racewalking events both local and overseas such as the 15th Australian Masters Games held in Adelaide in 2015, where he bagged gold medals for 1500m, 3,000m and 5,000m; he was happy to complete his second full marathon after 10 years in 4 hours 31 minutes by racewalking. This was his first attempt at racewalking the marathon distance and he did it faster than most runners who did it by running!

Yahya Iskandar and his wife Nasa Zaidul; who are a fixture in the running events in Malaysia flew all the way from Kuching, Sarawak to participate.

Both are members of the Marathon Maniacs club and had done numerous marathons.

Apart from the full marathon and half marathon categories, there were also the 12K and 5K fun run categories. In the shorter distance categories, a number of runners were seen running in it with their families and having fun together.
Mimi Sadina Abu Samah ran in the half marathon category. Her 12 year old daughter, Ariana Safiyya Azmir joined the 12K and Mimi’s mother did the 5K fun run. Mimi’s mother, Aziah Mohd Sharif caught the running bug first and it was later shared by her daughter and granddaughter. At the moment, Aziah chooses to run in the fun run category that are less than 10K but who knows, perhaps she’ll upgrade to farther distance in the future? At 62, Aziah certainly proved that there is nothing stopping her from being active and leading a healthy lifestyle! This family certainly showed that running is a great way to bond and be healthy together.

The next Cyberjaya Twincity Marathon is planned to be held in January 2017. Dato' Faris wants to have the marathon as the event to kickstart the New Year and new resolution for runners.

See you in 2017.

Footnote :
Perhaps this is a weird time to publish this post about an event held in January.  I stumbled on it again a few days ago. That's why. And seem so sayang never to get it out.

I wrote it after pitching the idea to a newspaper editor before the event itself, got a green light to do it and swiftly went to work by approaching one of the organising team member to have access on race information, invited runners and also official photos.

After much work and hours spent, sadly the article got shelved (I never got a rejection but was told the article I wrote is being put on KIV).

But in writing this, I learn a lot and anyway, another article I wrote titled "Sisters Are Running" did get published later in February.

A heartfelt thank you to Dato' Faris Yahaya for spending time answering my questions for this post in January, shortly after the marathon, despite his busy schedule.
Thank you too to everybody who had helped and participated in the conception of this article and also for their consent to use their photos.

If possible, a humble request to the organiser for the January 2017 Cyberjaya Twincity Marathon – an access for media (not only for the mainstream media but also for us “picisan” bloggers and key opinion leaders) to have information on the run and their invited runners apart from the run itself; other than what little information we could glean from the registration portal and facebook page/website.
p.s. I’m planning to do my full marathon at Cyberjaya Twincity Marathon. Sponsors are greatly appreciated and welcomed! Muahaha


Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Another "Win" In The Bag

After the nice run at Jog For Hope 2016 last Sunday; in which I finished fifth, I had another nice surprise.

It was for a run I did two Sundays ago, at Standard Chartered KL Marathon (SCKLM) 2016.

The race organiser had an SCKLM Media Challenge and runners from different media houses "competed" to vie to become the winner in their respective categories.

The winners are determined by the fastest time in their respective categories during SCKLM 2016 on Aug 7th.

There are only be one winner selected in the following categories:
  • Full Marathon (Men’s and Women’s)
  • Full Marathon (Men’s and Women’s Veteran) 
  • Half Marathon (Men’s and Women’s)
  • Half Marathon (Men’s and Women’s Veteran)
  • 10 km (Men’s and Women’s)
  • 10 km (Men’s and Women’s Veteran)
Look who won her category!

I was informed about the win on Monday and of course I couldn't miss the media appreciation hi-tea and prize presentation that they held.
 I totally love this medal!
With the other Media Challenge winners during the prize presentation.

It's so awesome to be standing on the stage with podium winning runners who also part of media and participated in the media challenge.

Thank you Standard Chartered KL Marathon, Dirigo Events and Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia for the award and also for the nice hi-tea session.

Hope I can "compete" again next year!

(Though I think it'll be tougher to win next year because now everyone wants to join the challenge! LOL)


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